The battle in Brooklyn over National Grid’s proposed pipeline got hot again Friday morning, after police arrested ten protestors who blocked the pipeline’s construction.
“This was a nonviolent direct action,” Jonathan Minard told Bushwick Daily, who was among those involved with the demonstration. Minard is part of Extinction Rebellion, a protest group that was started in the UK and is known for shutting down locations–the group’s prominence dates to its shutting down a number of bridges in London in 2018.
Extinction Rebellion was also prominently involved in a rally earlier this month that shut down the pipeline’s construction.
Friday’s protest had began at 8 a.m., when demonstrators who Minard described as new and fresh-faced to the movement, filled the gaping crevices where the thirty-inch pipe was to be constructed. As they took a collective seat on nearby construction materials, the group of twenty or so protesters could be heard chanting phrases like “No Brooklyn pipe” and “People over profits,” to the time of a shaking tambourine.
Minard tells Bushwick Daily that the activists had informed the surprised workers that they were not protesting them as people but, rather, the multinational British energy concern they worked for.
Construction soon ground to a halt for few chilly hours in East Williamsburg. The protest had been plotted as a “stealth operation,” Minard says.
Police later arrived and arrested some ten protesters who had not yet departed.
By 11a.m. the National Grid employees had resumed grinding into the earth.
Minard, who was not arrested, explained all this as part of a wider struggle in a later statement.
“It is important to acknowledge that Brooklyn is the unceded territory of the Canarsee people of the Lenape Nation, and this North Brooklyn pipeline represents a further assault on sacred land,” he writes.
Along with a related group, the Sane Energy Project, Extinction Rebellion plans to hold a rally Saturday morning at 9am.
Top photo taken by Erik McGregor, courtesy of Extinction Rebellion.
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